The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Articles written by Ned Rozell

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Biographer profiles scientist-explorer of northeast Alaska

In the early 1990s, Janet Collins was hiking in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when she saw "Camp 163" labeled on her map. Intrigued, she later looked up Camp 163 in Donald Orth's Dictionary of A...

 

Wolves are cagy and reluctant with things that are unknown

The wolf tracks appeared as they always do, as a surprise. On a day between fall and winter, with the leaves fallen and browning but the ground not yet hard, I was walking with my dog and an a.m. radio. We were descending a four-wheeler trail on a...

 

Scientists are studying algae's athletic and living role in glacier melt

Life exists everywhere you look. Even on glacier ice, home to inch-long worms, snow fleas, bacteria and algae. When gathered by the millions on the ice, algae cells can help make the water they need...

 

Finding far-north lynx den full of kittens is part of cycle study

In her study of one of the farthest north lynx populations in North America this summer, Claire Montgomerie used her ears. While looking at the satellite tracker a female lynx was wearing,...

 

Prehistoric reptile one mile above McCarthy rediscovered

In 1963, 23-year-old geologist David Whistler sat down for lunch on a rocky hilltop one mile above Kennicott Glacier. With one hand on his sandwich and the other on his miner's pick, he flipped over...

 

Hurricanes and far north sea ice correlation debated by scientists

Speaking at a conference in coastal Texas last fall, a researcher from Florida mentioned with relief that her home was 13 feet above sea level. That seemed curious to me, a middle Alaskan living at...

 

North Korea blast lights up Alaska seismometers though not quake-like

On Saturday night, Matt Gardine was at home outside Fairbanks playing with his daughter when his phone beeped. As the seismologist on call with the Alaska Earthquake Center, Gardine's duty was to get information out about detectable earthquakes...

 

Polar bears of the past survived warmth according to some scientists

An ancient jawbone has led scientists to believe that polar bears survived a period thousands of years ago that was warmer than today. Sandra Talbot of the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage was one of 14 scientists who teamed to write a paper...

 

Hike across Alaska ends with after-dinner bear encounter - from afar

A few days ago, Cora the dog and I walked across a footbridge spanning a natural moat flowing through northern tundra plants. There, we reached mile 0 of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the finish of a...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    July 20, 2017

Dog partner enhances hike across Alaska like no human being can

I suspected my brief dogless period was coming to an end when my wife and daughter were looking at puppies on the internet. We had a few months earlier lost Poops, a Labrador retriever mix, to a...

 
 By Ned rozell    Main News    July 12, 2017

Mosquitos and biting bugs keep human populations sparse

JIM RIVER - On this cobble bar north of the Arctic Circle, it is a fine day. The sky is a sheet of blue, a breeze wraps us with clean air, a sandpiper mom shrieks over her hatchlings. They are...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    July 5, 2017

Everything is alive here on the path of the trans-Alaska pipeline

(This summer series is documenting Rozell's walk along the trans-Alaska pipeline, 20 years after making the first trek with his dog, Jane) YUKON RIVER - It's high summer, past the solstice....

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 28, 2017

Visiting home and taking a break from 800-mile hike along pipeline

(This summer series is documenting Rozell's walk along the trans-Alaska pipeline, 20 years after making the first trek with his dog, Jane) FAIRBANKS - I left my home here to begin a hike along the...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 21, 2017

Remote pathway far from the highway is most isolated along pipeline

(This summer series is documenting Rozell's walk along the trans-Alaska pipeline, 20 years after making the first trek with his dog, Jane) GOLD RUN CREEK - This clear waterway running through boreal s...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    June 14, 2017

Roadhouse provides a rest along the trail from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay

(This summer series is documenting Rozell's walk along the trans-Alaska pipeline, 20 years after making the first trek with his dog, Jane) RIKA'S ROADHOUSE - Sitting in the shade of a poplar, I watch...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    June 7, 2017

Sharing the trail with born Alaskans shows a unique resilience

(This summer series is documenting Rozell's walk along the trans-Alaska pipeline, 20 years after making the first trek with his dog, Jane) Who is this girl, hair in braids, emerging from the tent...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 24, 2017

Outdoor gear has come a long way in twenty years

When I walked this same path 20 years ago, I averaged six miles each day. After a few weeks in 2017 of hiking the path of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, it seems easy to do 10 miles a day. Back then,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 17, 2017

Lots of quiet time in the Big Lonely on 800-mile hike

(This summer series is documenting Rozell's walk along the trans-Alaska pipeline, 20 years after making the first trek with his dog, Jane) I walked around the chain-link fence of Pump Station 12 of...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 10, 2017

First steps from Valdez, in the snow and mountains

PORT VALDEZ--We have launched on the pipeline hike version 2.0, 20 years after the first time. I'm now sitting on the muscled root of a Sitka spruce by the pleasant rush of a creek. A bald eagle shrie...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    May 3, 2017

Revisiting a dream, 20 years after an historic Alaska walk

Twenty years ago, I was 34 when I walked away from a chain-link fence near Port Valdez and headed east. Those were the first steps on a summer-long trip across Alaska. In a few days, I will begin to...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 26, 2017

Tundra swans take months to cross the continent researchers find

Skiing to work over a persistent spring snowpack, I looked up to see a large white bird flapping gracefully over the spruce tops. A few gentle honks confirmed it was a tundra swan. After a long...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    April 5, 2017

Winter cyclist blazes an 1,800-mile trail in 1800 mile adventure

On a sunny afternoon in Nome, Jeff Oatley stepped off his fat bike. That day, for the first time since before the Super Bowl, he had nowhere to ride tomorrow. On March 7, Oatley, with his wife Heather Best (who rode a few hundred miles of choice trai...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    March 29, 2017

A look back: Feet on the ground right after Alaska's big one

(Editor's note: this column first appeared in 2014, for the 50th anniversary of the great quake.) On March 27, 1964, California geologist George Plafker was attending a research conference in Seattle...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 22, 2017

Squirrels somehow predict Spruce seed bonanza

Stan Boutin has climbed more than 5,000 spruce trees in the last 30 years. He's fallen only once, and he has often returned to the forest floor knowing if a ball of twigs and moss contained newborn red squirrel pups. Over the years, those squirrels...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    March 15, 2017

Far-north mallards thriving on the edge in sub-zero temperatures

With dogs' breath fogging the 30-below zero air at their knees, 71 Iditarod mushers steamed their way down the frozen Chena River in Fairbanks on March 6. Upstream, just a few miles behind them, 500 d...

 

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